This weekend my husband spent nearly 15 minutes trying to teach a 3 year old girl how to repair a doll house, which she conceptually grasped, but couldn't execute despite her best efforts. Later he asked me the dexterity question, and now I'm asking you.
For some reason, I had this idea that you were either born with dexterity or not. Which is why I've always relegated myself to the world where anything "artistic" in nature was off limits to clumsy old me. As I watched my son fumble with spoons and cups and non-toys of various sizes and shapes, I learned that if my child can learn dexterity, so can I.
Of course, I should have realized this earlier. For example, I didn't learn to type until high school, and then only due to AIM (remember those days?). These days, I can type both English and Code at a blistering pace (one that my coworkers find dizzying).
You might be wondering why I'm talking about dexterity. Well for me, dexterity has been a huge mental block on my road to DIY. I've never been particularly gifted in dexterity topics, so I felt that anything crafty or requiring building skills was off limits to me. And in fact, relative to my husband, it is a limiting factor, but I have made huge strides, to the point where I feel that with enough YouTube tutorials, I could conquer just about anything. You can see my haircut below as evidence.
However, DIY or insourcing is a hugely important element in developing financial independence. Too many years of paying everyone to do everything will result in over-specialization and ongoing financial inputs. Tons of blogs focus on home improvement or food prep or whatever as a means to save money. Instead of pretending like I'm an expert at anything, I'll just offer my advice on overcoming the hurdles to DIY (as I've become a huge advocate over the last year).
1. Realize your self worth is not tied up in your DIY-ability
I had this personal problem where I thought I either needed to be a hippie farmer/prepper or high-flying exec that outsourced everything, and I had a hard time coming to terms with anything in between.
Once I realized that I could fail without damaging my self worth. I made baby steps. I realized that I already had some basic DIY skills (cooking, photography, laundry, etc.), and I went on to develop more. I changed a flat tire on my bike- the first time took 2.5 hours and involved much more foul language than I care to admit. I lubricated the bike chain (super easy!) I could assemble furniture and paint walls and grind down cement floors.
These days I have the confidence to plan my kitchen layout, to install Pergo, and even cut my own hair! Maybe someday I'll fix a car, but probably not.
2. Look for quick wins!
The haircut thing was also a save time/money endeavor. I only want haircuts at 11PM for some reason. I typically wake up in the middle of the night wanting a hair cut right now! Since we are a one car family, errands typically require coordination which means that my personal ROI on doing anything from home is very high.
Other quick wins can happen if you can develop a skill very easily because you have similar existing skills. For example, I can convert problems to math easily, so planning and buying products for our home remodel is easy for me. It takes me 1-2 hours to do something that takes my husband days to do. At first, I let him do it, because I thought he was doing some complicated construction thing. Then I realized that he wasn't, and that I could develop his skills quickly.
3. Better to overdo than over think
Planning has a place in every DIY endeavor, but something is going to go wrong, and you will have to stray from your plans.This is why I say, overdo, don't over think. If you've really bitten off more than you can chew, you can pay a professional, but with every DIY project it gets worse before it gets better.
My husband is much more of a planner than I am, but a lot of times, he can only plan to the "point of failure" at which point he will have to solve the problem to keep moving forward. Typically, when he plans DIY projects he commits to an approach and upgrades tools as his current tools fail him. I tend to alter techniques many times over the course of the project without much consideration for switching tools. Ideally, we would compliment very well, but mostly we drive each other crazy, so we work alongside each other rather than "together together."
So there you have it. Three steps to removing mental blocks to DIY. What are your tips?